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London and Hudson Mackenzie

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1,000 Hours Outside

We track a lot of things - steps, calories, budgets, airline miles - why not track something for our kids?

Article by Katie Mackenzie

Photography by GymGuyz Mid St. Louis County

Originally published in Kirkwood City Lifestyle

A few summers ago, I was picking up my sons, Hudson and London, from a friend's house and saw this huge, partially colored poster on the wall. That was the first time I was introduced to 1,000 Hours Outside, a website encouraging kids to leave their screens and step outside. 

Did you know the average American child spends 1,200 hours a year in front of screens?

Ginny Yurich, founder of 1,000 Hours Outside, states, "If kids can consume media through screens 1200 hours a year on average, then the time is there, and at least some of it can and should be shifted towards a more productive and healthier outcome."

The colorful tracking posters are a fantastic way to encourage fresh air and exploration, lessen screen time, and teach kids how to work toward a long-term goal.

My boys were up for the challenge. We've had many adventures and memories while doing this challenge. Favorite activities include outdoor hikes, playing in the creek, lots of soccer practice, sleeping out on Grandma and Papa's deck, and meals/snacks served on the patio, so they don't miss any extra time.

Our challenge has become a family affair, with two cousins and Papa joining for 2023. It's not too late to start your family's tracker. 

1,000 Hours Outside is a global movement designed for any age, child (or adult), in any outdoor environment. For more information, visit

"1,000 Hours Outside is a tracking program designed for any age, child (or adult), in any outdoor environment," said Katie Mackenzie, owner of GymGuyz Mid St. Louis County. 

  • London and Hudson Mackenzie

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